Houstonians charged in series of early morning diner robberies
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – Three men have been indicted on multiple crimes in relation to violent armed robberies of local restaurant chains, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Christopher Djuan Roberts, 27, and Xavier Edward Jones, 28, both of Houston, are set to appear for their detention hearings at 10 a.m. before make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray. Wesley James Thomas, 29, currently in custody in another jurisdiction, will make his initial appearance in Houston in the near future.
The indictment, returned Jan. 24, alleges interference with commerce by threat or force, brandishing of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 15, 2023, the three men allegedly robbed a Waffle House located at 635 Rankin Road. Immediately after the robbery, the trio proceeded to rob a Denny’s located at 11320 North Freeway, according to the charges. During both robberies, the men allegedly brandished handguns while taking money from Waffle House employees and both employees and customers of Denny’s.
Roberts and Thomas are both convicted felons and are prohibited from possessing a firearm per federal law.
If convicted of brandishing of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, the men face up to life imprisonment while the interference with commerce by threat or force carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years. Additionally, Roberts and Thomas face up to 15 years in prison if convicted for being felons in possession of a firearm. All charges also carry a possible penalty of up to $250,000.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) through the collaborative efforts of the ATF Strike Force conducted the investigation along with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Hrach is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
Updated February 6, 2024